~ Chapter 61: A chat with the gods (Part 1) ~
[Leonidas' point of view]
When I opened my eyes, I could see nothing but endless pure white wherever I looked. Yet, I had the strange feeling that I was in some sort of room and not outside. The space simply felt limited yet at the same time stretched towards infinity. It was an odd sensation to say the least.
“I'm floating?” I said when I realized I couldn't touch the floor.
Normally, I should have panicked, but I already experienced something similar before. Yes, it was earlier today when I first met Ezimuth. The only difference between then and now was the color of this place and the degree of awareness I had within it. Rather than feeling like I was in some sort of trance that made me numb to raging emotions, this time it was as if I was fully awake and nothing interfered with my current mental state.
“So here you are, at last!” someone called out from behind.
I recognized the voice, but it had been a very long time since I last heard it.
When I turned around to look at him, I saw in that spot where there was nothing there just a moment ago three floating people. If memory served me right, then they were not mortals but gods.
The one who spoke was none other than the god covered in a full-body plate armor I met back when I was selecting the world for my reincarnation. Next to him was a beautiful elf goddess who wore an elegant long dress completely made out of vines and leafs. Her chestnut hair was tied up in a ponytail. As for the third god, he was none other than the God of Darkness Ezimuth.
Although I was a bit stumped by what just happened, I didn't forget my manners.
I bowed my head before them and then said “Hello... It's nice to meet you again.”
“Ah, yes! Likewise, we are pleased to see you again, Leonidas.” said the big fellow wearing armor plate and then laughed.
Because his helmet was covering his face, I couldn't tell how he looked like. For all I knew, this armor could have been his actual body.
“Indeed, it's good to see you, young soul.” said the elf goddess.
“So what happened to me now?” I asked.
“Nothing, young one! Believe it or not, this is a simple conjugal visit.” giggled the elf goddess.
“So, how was my Blessing?” asked Ezimuth with a smile.
“Amazing actually... If I didn't have it, Sapherya's 'help' would have definitely killed me... well it did... over 100 times.” I said and narrowed my eyes.
“Oh, my!” the elf goddess acted surprised.
“Well, maybe she wouldn't have offered it in the first place if she didn't think I could handle it.” I continued and let out a sigh.
This much was obvious even for me, but it still was a rather unpleasant experience to go through. Who in their right mind would enjoy dying over and over again?
“True. She may look like a cute klutz, but in the end, she is a goddess with five names.” the armor plated god pointed out.
“Are your names of that big of an importance?” I asked tilting my head to the left.
“Yes, quite so. They are given by our followers and strengthened by them as well. Usually, it's one per each planet we evolve.” Ezimuth replied.
“Indeed. By the way, my first name is Druzan. I am currently a God of War.” he nodded.
“And I am called Shakra. I am a Goddess of Nature.” the elf goddess bowed her head politely.
“You already know mine, Ezimuth.” he raised his hand.
“A pleasure to meet you three and thank you for your Blessings. But speaking of which, is this why Sapherya reacted like she did when I called her S.A.R.G.E?” I asked.
“Yup!” Druzan nodded.
“Imagine if she were to get two more names that started with N and respectively T.” Ezimuth smirked mischievously.
“Sargent S.A.R.G.E.N.T.?” I said and then imagined a bunch of pious people praying to her.
We all burst out into a loud laughter.
“I'll be more careful, I promise.” I said as I wiped away a tear.
“I don't mind. I would have something else to tease her about. Although, frankly speaking the order of the initials can be rearranged, so she could end up with just S.A.R.G.E.N.T.S.” Shakra giggled.
“But do gods really receive new names just because one individual calls them out by it?” I asked.
“It highly depends on the believer. In the case of Sapherya, however, I highly doubt she will receive this name even if you call her out in the middle of busy market.” Shakra said and shook her head.
“It would take centuries or the majority of the population to end up believing that's her actual name. The mortals down there are barely aware of her other names though, so I don't believe he has anything to worry about.” Druzan nodded.
“So in the end, it all comes down to whether or not I actually call her that and even ask others to do the same? Then why did she react like she did back then?” I wondered.
“Boy, don't you know that women are rather sensitive when it comes to these sort of things?” Shakra asked raising an eyebrow and resting her hands on her hips.
“Don't worry about it, child! That Sapherya is just acting foolish!” Druzan laughed.
Given the importance of names, I would rather think it mattered greatly if one misused them. Then again, was it possible that me calling her S.A.R.G.E. had a different effect on her, or was there something these gods weren't telling me?
“Leaving this silly matter aside, do you understand now what this power by the name of Blessing does or what it is?” Ezimuth asked, skillfully changing the subject.
“Sort of... It's something like a cheat ability?” I replied scratching the back of my head.
“Yes. Long ago, few were those who had Blessings from the gods, but as time passed and the civilizations grew, Sapherya didn't mind for most of them to have at least one Blessing, while heroes and other similarly important and powerful individuals had at least two.” he explained.
This meant that the reason why my little sister got three Blessings was because the gods deemed she would have an important role to play in the history of this world?
Because we shared similar mutations, I could see why they thought it was necessary to do so.
Does this mean that if she didn't share these powers with me, she could have lived a normal life? I thought, but right as I started to feel like it was all my fault, Druzan placed his hand on my shoulder.
I looked up at him. He shook his head.
“It's not your fault, little one.” said Shakra the Goddess of Nature.
“You shouldn't see yourself as the one responsible for what she will became or how her fate will twist and turn. That soul accepted to become your sibling just like you wished to become hers.” Ezimuth told me.
“In fact, I would dare say you are the equivalent of a Blessing for her, while the two of you are a Blessing for your parents!” declared Druzan.
“But... if I didn't have this power or she those Blessings, then Damascus would have never tried to kidnap her.” I told them.
This was the truth even the gods couldn't deny. If Cassandra didn't have those three Blessings of hers, then that monster wouldn't have had a reason to mark her as his prey. For this, I was the one to blame.
The three gods looked at each other for a long moment and then they turned their gazes back at me.
“Leonidas, what do you think about this world?” Druzan asked.
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